THE GRAND STRAND GEOCACHERS POST

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THE GRAND STRAND GEOCACHERS POST
THE GRAND STRAND
GEOCACHERS POST
Vol. 2, Issue 1
January 28, 2009
Cache In and Trash Out with
the USDA Forest Service
and Palmetto Pride!
IN THIS ISSUE:
►CITO Francis Marion
National Forest ......pg 1
►GSG Meeting .........pg 1
►Cacher Profile:
Shamanstorm ........pg 2
►On the Road with
Tweety & Coach .....pg 3
►From The Steering Committee ............pg 5
►FTFs & New Hides ..pg 5
►Viking43 - Crazy
for caching ............pg 6
►Technically Speaking
Easy Paperless Caching .................pg 8
►Christmas Bash
Photo Montage ....pg 10
On February 2, 2009, geocachers
from the state are needed to
volunteer for a day of litter clean
up at Francis Marion National
Forest. Volunteers will meet at
Sewee Environmental Education
Center, 5821 Hwy 17 N, Awendaw,
SC, at 8 a.m. and will be given
directions to cleanup sites.
Cleanup supplies will be provided
as well as lunch after the cleanup.
The clean-up will last until 12 p.m.
Please let Gone2theDogs know if
you plan to attend. (GC1KHE8)
‘Litter has a serious, negative
effect on the economy
and the image of South
Carolina, not to mention on
the sport of geocaching.
Litter control costs the state
millions of dollars each year.
PalmettoPride is an umbrella
organization that is leading
the effort to make the state
litter free.’
Upcoming Grand Strand Geocachers Meeting
►Join the Grand Strand Geocachers Association for our monthly meet and greet. The Mackey’s
Bunch is hosting a geocaching extravaganza on Saturday, January 31st, at 6 p.m. The event will be
held at Surf’s Up Family Fun Center in Carolina Forest. There are several games and contests planned,
as well as prizes, trackables, and geo swag up for the grab! Surf’s Up also offers laser tag and buffet
style dining. If you plan to attend, please respond on the cache page! (GC1KGVC) See you there!
CACHER PROFILE: Shamanstorm
1. Would you take a minute to introduce us to, and
tell us a little about yourself and the rest of the
Shamanstorm team?
We moved from Virginia 3 years ago to Myrtle Beach.
Geocaching makes this place fun!
2. Tell us how and when you got started Geocaching.
While watching a program on TV I saw a clip about geocaching.
Ran to the store and bought a GPS. I surprised Pete, Shaman
and Cheyenne with the game- we were hooked.
3. What kind of GPS do you use? A Garmin GPS 60CSx.
4. How many finds and hides do you have to date? We have found 190 and 8 hidden.
5. We all know that guys you are big FTF Hounds. Do you keep up with how many FTF’s
you have? And if so how many is that and which ones have been your favorites?
We haven’t had a FTF in a long time. I never kept up with the number of FTF- I saw them pop up on the
site and ran to get it. (Thanks Roger for keeping count for me) LOL.
6. You have been known to do some pretty crazy stuff trying for a FTF.
Tell us about your most memorable experience trying for an FTF.
When I almost got arrested for helping a murderer out (LOL)- too long of a story! I’ll tell ya’ll about it at a
gathering one day.
7. Who is your favorite cacher to beat to an FTF. Why?
PreachersPal and Digndirt...They were always my biggest competitors.
8. We know that you went to Canada on a fishing trip this last summer and we
heard you did some caching while up there. Tell us about it.
We had a FTF in Canada (I had to go out of the country to get a FTF at that time LOL). I climbed a
mountain only get a DNF. I called redline while standing on the side of a cliff for a hint. I get home and
found out I was standing on it the whole time.
9. What would you say is the most unusual and the most difficult cache you have found?
Every one of the caches we do usually has a quirkiness story to it. I can’t pick just one.
10.What is the one thing that you like and dislike the most about Geocaching?
I love the adventure behind it. I hate getting ate up by mosquito’s!!!!
11.When you first got started caching was the entire family on board from
the start or did they have to grow into it?
They weren’t as obsessed, but they were on board from the get go.
12.If there was a chance to do Geocaching for a living would you or anyone in your
family go for it?
The way I cache? (I turn a 1 into a 5) No way. It wouldn’t be as much fun then. However the company
would pay for my gas huh?
Continued...
The Grand Strand Geocachers Post - Page 2
CACHER PROFILE: Shamanstorm
(cont.)
13.One thing everyone seems to say is that the people are the best thing about Geocaching.
What do you think it is about Geocaching that makes the people so special?
It’s like a secret society and everyone winks when they pass someone caching knowing what they’re doing
while everyone else thinks you have mental issues. LOL!
14.How would you describe Geocaching to someone who had never heard of it?
All the time!
15.Shamanstorm is one of the family teams in the Grand Strand Region. Has caching
had any positive influences on your family?
Pete lost some weight. I had something to look forward to after a bad day.
16.Is there anything else you would like to say about Geocaching or about Geocachers?
YOU ALL ARE AWESOME!
ON THE ROAD WITH TWEETY & COACH
Well here we are in Carrabelle, Florida, at the Ho Hum CG sitting
right on the Gulf of Mexico and we can see both the sunrise and
sunset out the front window of our coach.......and it’s AWESOME.
The morning of our first full day here we were off to look
for some of the local caches. One nice fun cache located in
Carrabelle was GC10GZR “World’s Smallest Police Station”. In
the 1960’s, the Carrabelle police phone was located in a call box
that was bolted to a building on the corner of the main street.
They were having trouble with tourists making long distance
calls from it so they moved it, but the problem persisted. When
the phone company decided to replace an old phone booth,
with a new one, they decided to put the phone in the old booth
and move it to its present location. Unfortunately, the calls still
persisted, so they removed the dial from the phone. The booth has endured many hardships over the
years: vandals ripping phones from the booth, holes shot through the glass, being hit by a truck, damaged
by hurricane Kate, and once a tourist asked a gas station attendant to help him load it in his truck so he
could take it back to TN. The booth has been featured on the Today Show, Ripley’s Believe It or Not and
Real People.
The next day we visited Tate’s Hell State Park and did the cache GC12B3K “Gary’s First Cache”. It really
wasn’t the cache that we were interested in, but the park itself. This park covers 202,437 acres and got its
name back in the late 1800’s when a farmer named Cebe Tate journeyed into the Big Swamp. Armed with
only a shotgun and accompanied by his hunting dogs, he set out to track down the panther that was killing
his livestock. Tate never planned to venture very far into this uncharted land, however following the baying
of his dogs and feeling he was close to cornering the panther, Tate went deeper into the swamp. After a
couple of days, he had lost sight of both the dogs and the panther. For several more days Tate wandered
aimlessly in the swamp. During the ordeal, he lost his shotgun and was bitten by a water moccasin.
Delirious, Tate stumbled out of the swamp in front of a couple of woodsmen near Carrabelle. When asked
his name and where he came from, the disoriented man simply replied, “My name is Tate and I’ve just
Continued...
The Grand Strand Geocachers Post - Page 3
ON THE ROAD WITH TWEETY & COACH
(cont.)
been through Hell”. The main reason we made the visit back into the park, which by the way was an 8 mile
drive, was to see the several unique stands of Dwarf Cypress tree wetlands, which are located within the
forest. These cypress trees are documented to be over 150 years old with some of them more than 300
years old. They only reach a mature height of approximately 15 feet, with many of them only growing to
6 feet or less. They have a unique area of the forest which is the elevated Dwarf Cypress Boardwalk and
observation tower. At this area we walked out on the boardwalk to view the trees. It was quite a sight and
the only thing is that it is winter here and most of the trees were bare, but it still was worth the drive and
walk.
The next day we visited St. George Island and did several caches. This island is a barrier island and was
practically destroyed by several hurricanes and is known for its secluded beaches, Apalachicola Bay
oysters, and abundant local seafood. One cache we did was GC13T5K “Gone With the Next Storm?”
which was located where they are presently building a new lighthouse to replace the old lighthouse, which
was built in 1852, and collapsed into the ocean on Oct. 25, 2005. Then it was on to St. George Island
State Park and GCZTBR “Oyster Boat”. The oyster skiff as they are called is a reminder of a very important
way of making a living in this area. The skiffs vary from 19-25 feet long with flat bottoms and wide decks
and a small cabin at the stern. They stand on these decks to operate the tongs which are 15’ scissor like
rakes that scrape the bay bottom and collect the oysters into the tong’s attached baskets. The oysters
are then hauled to the surface and dumped onto a sorting table called a ‘cull’ board. When the culling
board is full, clumps of oysters are separated with a culling iron, and the 3” local sized oysters are bagged.
The remaining shell and undersized oysters are then raked back overboard to be harvested another
day. Oysters were first harvested commercially in 1850. Oyster harvesting reached a peak in 1981, when
approximately 6.6 million pounds of them were landed. In 1985, two hurricanes hit and almost wiped out
the oyster harvesting business as it covered the beds with sand and silt. Apalachicola Bay provides 90% of
the oysters harvested in FL and 10% for all of the United States. The park is nine miles long with only four
miles of it accessible by road. The other five miles is accessible on foot or bike and is a protected area.
The park covers 1,962 acres of the east end of the island with no homes at all along the beaches. It is so
peaceful and quiet except for the waves lapping, the wind blowing, and the birds chirping. There were
several other caches we did on the island, but they were really P&G caches.
This area is still feeling the lingering effects of the damage caused by Hurricanes Frances and Ivan in
2004. You wouldn’t believe the homes that are still sitting on the shore and are falling into the ocean, new
developments that evidently was started before the hurricanes hit and were never reopened. Numerous
lots and property are for sale, new roads that were replaced when the old ones were completely washed
away, buildings that were destroyed by the hurricanes and are still sitting there completely demolished
and piles and piles of concrete and tar from the roads, buildings and sidewalks that were destroyed. While
we were in Carrabelle we met another of the cachers in the area while we were out caching one day. Her
caching name is Bluet and she was the most active cacher in the area as she has right now 843 caches
found and 90 hidden. She is an entomologist and also writes for the Apalachicola newspaper. We went
caching with her a few times and took her out for dinner one night. We enjoyed meeting her very much.
Seeing as this is such a beautiful area we decided to extend out stay here to 2 weeks!
So next month, we will write again from our caching adventures in Apalachicola and Panama City.
Take care and happy caching.
Tweety & Coach,
Dori & Dick
Read more about ftjak’s adventures on their blog:
www.2lostsoulsotheroad.blogspot.com
The Grand Strand Geocachers Post - Page 4
FROM THE STEERING COMMITTEE
Hey, all y’all Grand Stranders!
I hope that the New Year finds you all well. Although the SCGA didn’t have any “official”
events in the month of January, we’re now kicking off the New Year with the 2008 “Best
Of” Awards. I invite you to check out the SCGA website at www.iscga.org. In the forums
you will find the categories listed as well as the nominations thus far for those categories.
Nominations will be open from January 1, 2009 until January 31, 2009. Voting will take
place from February 1, 2009 until February 28, 2009. The awards will be presented at the
SCGA meeting in March. There’s still time to nominate your own personal favorites.
At this time of year, many people set goals for various aspects of their lives, and geocachers are no exception.
With the gas prices being relatively lower now (compared to last summer), some people are thinking that it’s the
perfect time to attempt the various Challenge Caches that South Carolina has to offer. Throw in the fact that most
of SC is bug-free and snake-dormant at this time of year, and now is certainly a great time. I encourage you all to
think about it. Personally, I like the challenges (or as some call them, compilation caches). Blue Blazes (cacher from
Florida) has a cache that commemorates and shows links to the DeLorme Challenges, the Counties Challenges,
and the Fizzy Challenges for each state. GC link to the Challenges (GC1FE1Y). There’s Alphabet Soup - South
Carolina Style (GC1HE4Y) which I completed this past weekend. There’s also the 101 Things To Do In South
Carolina (GC15Q7T) which requires a variety of cache finds to qualify. All of these Challenge Caches offer the
opportunity to see what’s out there in various parts of the state.
Our first “official” SCGA event will be the February SCGA CITO at Dreher Island State Park (GC1M421) on
February 28 just northwest of Columbia. It’s not one of those crack-of-dawn CITO’s so that everyone in the state
has a chance to make it if they wish. If you are looking for something a little closer to the Grand Strand, there’s
the Francis Marion National Forest Clean Up (GC1KHE8) on February 7 approximately 70 miles south of Myrtle
Beach. Although it’s not an “official” SCGA event, it is being hosted by SCGA members in conjunction with
Palmetto Pride and the United States Forestry Service. All cachers are invited to participate in these events to help
make our state more beautiful.
So as you see, we’re off to a good start this year. I hope to see you all out on the trail.
Semper Fidelis, Ken Tallman (llatnek)
First to Finds & New Hides - November & December
November: 4 New Hides by 4 Cachers
Most Hides: 4-Way Tie
1 Cache hidden in November not found until December.
Marvin J 1 FTF
One Stands Alone by: Datafin
SleepyRN 1 FTF
Island Shops Cafe - A Table For Four by: Digndirt
Digndirt 1 FTF
Lift Your Feet, Loris by: Sleepyrn
December: 12 New Hides by 5 Cachers
Most Hides: 7: SemperFi5862
1 Cache hidden in December. not found until January.
KohlMom 3 FTFs
Weetee State Forest, 17A by: Dataware
Weetee Lake North (Santee Road) by: Dataware
Santee River Geocache Re-Supply by: Dataware
Preacherspal 3 FTFs
Nichols Park by: GordonTheKing
Pretentious E with Supplement P
by: AussieYanks
Semperfi by: SemperFi5862
AussieYanks 2 FTFs
Justin by: SemperFi5862
Jacob by: SemperFi5862
PIBeachBums 1 FTF
Tyler by: SemperFi5862
Joshua by: SemperFi5862
Canontreker 1 FTF
Meghan by: SemperFi5862
Chiciolina 1 FTF
Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up
by: Canontreker
The Grand Strand Geocachers Post - Page 5
VIKING43 - Crazy for Caching
The following excerpt was taken from Canada’s The Daily Gleaner.
Thanks to Queezy for sending us this article on our geocaching
friends Viking43!
Wayne and Paula Tomilson are crazy for caching - geocaching, that is.
Wayne and Paula Tomilson, with their dog Jessie, have become avid
geocachers in the last year. This geocaching adventure took them to
Prince Edward Island, where they found their 1,000th geocache.
The local couple has searched out more that 1,800 of these treasures
around New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, through the states
on their way to South Carolina, even some on a visit to Australia.
They’ve even creatively hidden a few geocaches of their own for others to find.
“We’re viking43, Mr. and Mrs.,” says Wayne Tomilson, sharing their online geocaching names. “And geo-dog.”
Their dog Jessie has been with them on most of their geocaching adventures.
The couple was first introduced to this hobby by their son who lives in Tokyo.
“A couple years ago he was home in the summertime and he talked to me about this geocaching. I’d never
heard of it,” he says.
His son had a GPS and took him over to Odell Park to find one of the caches hidden there.
“We bought our own system and it just grew,” says Wayne Tomilson.
The couple really got into it a year ago after they both retired.
“It’s a great pastime for retirees,” he says, but it certainly isn’t limited to that. It’s also a lot of fun for kids,
students, families and more. “There is absolutely no one that can’t do it.”
The caches are rated on a scale of one to five, based on the level of difficulty and the terrain. If it is rated a
one, that means the site is wheelchair accessible.
As for equipment, you need a GPS system, one that gives longitude and latitude, plus a good pair of boots
are helpful for the spots you have to hike into, says Wayne Tomilson.
Access to a computer is also necessary, as all the information about this hobby can be found at www.
geocaching.com.
While geocaching is something you can do on your own, it’s also a sport you can enjoy with friends or family.
Plus there are meetings and get-togethers that give participants a chance to meet.
When you’re on the search for geocaches, you can stick close to home or head to exotic locals. It’s truly
whatever you want to make it.
Continued...
The Grand Strand Geocachers Post - Page 6
VIKING43 - Crazy for Caching
(cont.)
“It’s a world-wide sport. There are (almost) 700,000 of these hides worldwide,” says Wayne Tomilson.
And these hidden caches are unique. Some are cleverly hidden, some in scenic locations, some giving you a
history lesson, others requiring a puzzle be solved or a series of clues be found before you can find the cache.
Though there can be various things inside a cache, the most important is the log sheet, which you sign.
“That proves you were there,” says Paula Tomilson.
Once you do that, you can go online and mark the cache you found and leave a message for others to read.
As for what appeals to them about this pastime, she says, “we love a lot of things about it.”
It’s great exercise, says Wayne Tomilson.
“We love the outdoors, both of us, and it gets you to places you’ve never seen before,” he says, including
some in your own area you might never have known existed.
“You hear that from every cacher,” agrees Paula Tomilson.
When they’re exploring these places, geocachers have a tendency to clean the environment.
“There is a big thing called CITO - cache in, trash out,” says Wayne Tomilson.
The people involved with this tend to be nature lovers, after all.
“My favourite part is going out in the woods,” says Paula Tomilson. “There are tons of caches, for example, in
Odell Park.”
She enjoys getting out in nature, going for a walk and finding those caches.
“You can do it on top of mountains and you can even do it under the ocean,” says Wayne Tomilson, noting
this can be an extreme sport if you want it to be. “It’s totally up to you.”
A month ago, the couple went to the Moncton area for a power caching trip, one they had trained for all
summer. They were up at 4:30 a.m. and over the course of 17 hours, in which they biked, hiked and drove,
they found 102 caches.
Though the Tomilsons don’t always go out for that long, they do try and get out geocaching for a few hours
every day the weather is good.
“And it’s a learning process,” says Wayne Tomilson, which is something they both enjoy.
They’ve gotten friends involved in the sport and would love to bring others into it as well.
To do that, they’re holding a geocaching information session on Nov. 29 at the Fredericton Inn. Breakfast is
from 8-10 a.m., with a presentation on geocaching at 10 a.m. After, they plan to set up a buddy system so
novices can learn from the more experienced geocachers, then give participants a chance to try the sport.
The Grand Strand Geocachers Post - Page 7
EASY PAPERLESS CACHING By: Marvin J
A typical paperless caching setup involves 4 pieces of software: GSAK, GPX Spinner, Plucker, and
synchronization via HotSync... a very lengthy procedure. This is especially true if you attempt to sync all of
the caches in GSAK (Currently, I have almost 7,000). In fact my current database crashes Plucker altogether.
So when I thought about the current process, I noticed one important thing: GPX Spinner converts all of
the caches in the .GPX file to a set of web pages. All Plucker does is compress the huge HTML ball into
something more manageable for the Palm.
But what if you had something portable that could read HTML files and had plenty of storage space? The
solution to this is a laptop, Netbook, or Pocket PC. Laptops have come down dramatically in price over the
years, which make this method economical. A Netbook is a smaller laptop designed to do basic tasks and not
much else. They are not near as versatile as a fully fledged laptop, but are much smaller and more convenient.
Finally, a Pocket PC has the same form factor as a Palm Pilot, but is a bit more adaptable. These tiny devices
usually have Bluetooth and WIFI connectivity. You can learn more about these devices at the links below:
Netbooks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netbook
Pocket PCs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_pc
Here comes the easy part, setting it all up.
What you need:
1. Desktop / Home PC (This is whatever your GSAK
database is on)
2. A Mobile PC (a Netbook, Pocket PC, or Laptop)
3. GSAK
Here’s how to do it:
1. Update your GSAK database and filter your results
for your desired output.
2. In GSAK, Click File>Export>HTML Files
3. General Tab – Select an output file folder, the other
default options are fine. If your laptop is networked you
can select a shared folder on the laptop to output the
files directly to it. If you are using a Pocket PC and it
has a memory card, you can insert it and send the files
directly to it. This eliminates step 7, and greatly reduces
the time it takes to update your device.
4. Advanced Tab – I usually uncheck defaults and
check ‘Include current details’ this adds the last GPX
timestamp to the page so you know when the cache
was last updated. Otherwise the defaults are fine.
5. Save your settings for later, and Click Generate.
6. After a few minutes, once GSAK is completed, copy the final output folder to your portable device.
7. Open the index.htm file (located in the output folder) on your portable device. Chances are it will
launch the default web browser, and you will now have ALL of your cache information at your fingertips.
Using this method I can easily update my Pocket PC with 990+ caches from the Myrtle Beach area in less than
5 minutes with one step. My entire database takes about 1.25 hours. Taking this one step further, I created a
small macro that selects a saved Myrtle Beach filter, and updates both my GPS & Pocket PC with one click.
The entire process takes less than 6 minutes. This all means less dead trees, less time in front of the PC, and
more time caching!
Continued...
The Grand Strand Geocachers Post - Page 8
EASY PAPERLESS CACHING By: Marvin J
(cont.)
Some Helpful Tips:
Laptop Use:
1. For an all day cache run, pick up a vehicle power inverter. This little box plugs into your car cigarette
adapter and allows you to plug your laptop in to charge the battery.
2. You can also write up your logs in the field while it is fresh in your memory. When you get back to an
internet connection, logging is as easy as cut and paste.
Pocket PC Use:
1. Pick up Opera’s mobile browser. This is much faster than the default Internet Explorer one.
2. Depending on your cell phone provider, you may be able to tether your pocket PC to your cell phone
via Bluetooth. This will allow you to have internet wherever you have a cell signal. You can even log your
caches in the field!
Notice TBs & Archived Caches.
Alphabetical Listing By Name
Notice TBs & Archived Caches.
Listing By Cache Owner
Cache Page
Full Logs & Decrypted Hints
This is a very daunting topic and can be very confusing to most everyone. If there is enough interest, I will
gladly sit down after a meeting with a laptop and demonstrate how to do this and some other GSAK tips as
well. Hands on is always the best approach.
The Grand Strand Geocachers Post - Page 9
GRAND STRAND GEOCACHERS CHRISTMAS BASH
Thanks to EZtrack and ftjak for a memorable event!
The Grand Strand Geocachers Post - Page 10